NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Middle school cheerleading is considered a club, rather than a sport in New Hanover County schools.
Because of this classification, middle school cheer coaches are paid a club advisor rate of $200, compared to athletic coaches who receive an annual stipend of over $1,000.
Cheerleaders at Trask Middle School and their parents believe the team should be classified as a sport so the coaches can get a higher pay for their time.
According to an email from a spokesperson for New Hanover County Schools:
"New Hanover County Schools provides pay for cheerleading coaches. Middle school cheer is considered a club activity and advisors are paid at the club advisor rate. High School cheerleading coaches are paid a coaching supplement. Cheerleading at the middle school level has only existed for the past few years. It is not required and operates as a voluntary program. Students are required to submit paperwork and meet the attendance/academics eligibility requirements for student-athletes. "
Editors note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated middle school cheer coaches in New Hanover County were not paid. The story has been updated to reflect those coaches are paid a club advisor rate.